French power company Alstom has secured a contract worth approximately €125-million (about R1.6-billion) from South African state company Eskom to upgrade the Koeberg nuclear power station outside Cape Town. 16 March 2009 Eskom began construction on the Kusile coal-fired base load power station near Witbank in Mpumalanga province in September last year, while work on the Medupi coal-fired base load power station, near Lephalale in Limpopo province, began in April. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to further build on our relationship with Eskom through the supply of the retrofit for their two steam turbines,” Alstom’s Guy Chardon said in a statement this week. The work will involve retro-fitting the low-pressure turbines of the two 970 MWe units at South Africa’s sole nuclear power plant, increasing the station’s output by over 65 MW, improving availability and reliability, and extending the lifetime of the plant. The retrofits will be carried out during planned refuelling outages, thus reducing the chance of interruption to generation from the station. “We believe nuclear energy offers a carbon-free, efficient, viable alternative for meeting increasing demand for energy.” Increasing capacity The utility also recently placed orders for new equipment contracts with Alstom for the Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power plants, producing 4 800 MW each. Eskom and Alstom have worked together on previous projects such as the retrofitting of the Arnot power plant, an integrated retrofit project providing a capacity increase to that station of more than 300 MW. The first of Medupi’s six generating units will be commissioned by early 2011, with the last unit scheduled for commissioning by January 2015. The first of Kusile’s six generating units is scheduled for completion by 2013, followed by the completion on an additional unit after every eight months. SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Tuesday said ducks help recycle water and increase oxygen levels in water bodies besides boosting the rural economy.Addressing an inaugural event of a traditional boat race at Rudrasagar, an artificial lake about 50 km from Agartala, he announced he would distribute 50,000 ducklings of local species to fishermen who live nearby and other villagers across Tripura.‘Healthy droppings’“When 50,000 white ducks swim in water, they will look beautiful and increase oxygen levels in the water bodies,” he said. This, he added, will help the fish get more oxygen. The Chief Minister also said droppings of the ducks would make the fish grow faster organically.Experts in Tripura said movement does aerate water bodies, but there is no scientific evidence to attribute the aeration job to swimming ducks.Mr. Deb also criticised the previous Left Front government for damaging old village culture of rearing ducks and poultry. “CPI(M) activists would force people to attend their frequent rallies, hardly giving them time to for rearing fowls. I want every rural family in Tripura to rear four-five ducks, which will help meet protein and vitamin requirements of children,” he said.The CPI(M) said it was expected of Mr. Deb to make outlandish observations.